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2019 Deer Camp Vineyard Pinot Noir

2019 Deer Camp Vineyard Pinot Noir


2019 Deer Camp Vineyard Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes

Deer Camp offers a distinctive expression of Pinot Noir from Grace Benoist Ranch, with body and breadth, and a hint of rusticity. This Pinot is voluminous, with a full, rich texture and a plethora of ripe dark berry fruits on the nose and the palate. Layers of black cherry, dark plum, black currant, and black raspberry are supported by baking spice notes of cinnamon and clove. Delicate nuances of vanilla and cedar dance alongside fresher lifted notes of perfumed wild violet. A backbone of acidity runs alongside the sweet, mouth pleasing fruit, leading to round tannins with balance, complexity, and grace, finishing long and satisfying.

Technical Information

Varietal Pinot Noir
Vintage 2019
Appellation Carneros
Blend 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol % 14.4%
Case Production 574
pH 3.74

Scores & Accolades

  • 96 - "Fascinating aromas of ripe strawberries, cherries, berries and pine needles follow through to a full body with round tannins that are ripe and caressing. Juicy and succulent finish with fruit and hints of oak. Needs two or three years to come together.” - James Suckling, December 6, 2021
  • 94
    Wine Advocate - “Produced since 2004 as Etude's first single-vineyard Pinot Noir, the 2019 Pinot Noir Deer Camp Vineyard is mainly Martini selection, grown on a southwest-facing slope of the Grace Benoist Ranch. Cool, enthralling hints of crushed stone accent black cherries on the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate is supple and plush, big yet cuddly, with a touch of mocha on the lingering, silky finish." - Joe Czerwinski, June 2022
  • 94
    Wine Spectator - "Juicy and ripe, this is still a bit reserved now and should unfurl its range of cassis, cherry and raspberry coulis notes in due time, while the backdrop of black tea, mineral and savory bramble details offers ample reserves for the wait. Sleek acidity supports it all effortlessly. A structured Pinot that will reward cellaring. Best from 2023 through 2030.” - James Molesworth, May 11, 2022


The grapes for this wine were harvested at night to preserve freshness and integrity. They were placed in open-top fermenters for 3–5 days of cold maceration followed by fermentation. A small percentage of the grapes were left as whole cluster to preserve the buoyancy of aromatics of the fruit and to add structure and refinement to the wine. Punch downs were performed during the early stages of fermentation with the extraction becoming gentler as the wine became dry, followed with a quiet, extended maceration to help modify the richness and mouthfeel of the wine. The wine was lightly pressed into small French oak barrels, where it rested for 14 months.


The 2019 harvest started one to two weeks later than previous years, mostly due to February rains, but because the vines were in their winter dormancy, it did not affect the 2019 crop. Spring continued to be wet with some rain during flowering, followed by cool temperatures that allowed the grapes to mature gradually. Most grapes ripened at lower sugars, thanks to the extended, cool growing season, and winemakers were pleased with the full flavors, fresh acidity, and superb balance of the 2019 fruit. Wildfires in October, north of Carneros, did not impact the harvest. The resulting crop showed a modest yield with a slightly more compact structure and extract than in previous years.


The Deer Camp Vineyard at Grace Benoist Ranch is located on a southwest-facing slope of two blocks we refer to as the Pinot Bowl. Featuring distinctive rocky, well-drained soils of Kidd Stony Loam, the site is planted mostly to the Martini clone of Pinot Noir, which produces thick-skinned, pulpy grapes that hold up well to the fog and wind that blow through this cool climate vineyard. This small vineyard was named after an old deer camp structure that stands at the base of this site.